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Surname Salama - Meaning and Origin

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Salama: What does the surname Salama mean?

The last name Salama is an Arabic name that means safety or protection. It is both a given name and a surname that is commonly found in the Arab world, as well as among other populations with historical ties to Muslim or Arab culture.

The root, salam, in Arabic, means “peace” or “peaceful.” The prefix sa- (السَّا) is a possessive marker, and the suffix -ma (المَّا) is a noun marker, resulting in Salama (سَلَمَا), which literally translates to “his/her/its safety.” It is a common recognition of safety being one of the greatest blessings that one can have in life.

The Sufis use the term salama as a spiritual keyword for protection from selfish impulses and gross emotions, and for a dying person to have the strength and courage to accept death. Its use in the Arab world includes salamati or salamat being commonly spoken to acknowledge a request or show gratitude, meaning “in safety or good health.”

Though the surname Salama is found in various dialects, the intended meaning is quite clear: “safety," into which families strive for generations. It is a sacred assurance, a bond of protection, and a parting benediction long held with the highest regard and importance in the Arab world.

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Salama: Where does the name Salama come from?

Salama is an Arabic surname, so it is most common in the Middle East, North Africa, and Islamic parts of the Indian Subcontinent. In particular, it is most often found in the eastern Arab world: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

It is also used in North African countries such as Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, as well as several parts of the Indian Subcontinent where there is a significant Muslim population, such as India and Pakistan.

In addition to its prevalence in the Middle East and North Africa, there are smaller populations of people with the surname Salama in countries outside of the region where a significant Muslim population is present. These countries include Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

If tracing your own family history, Salama may also be found in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Greece, and Cyprus, as it was used as part of general Ottoman Turkish surnames until the early 20th century. The surname Salama can still be found in Turkish, Iraqi and Levantine Jewish communities as a result of this.

Altogether, these countries have populations of people with the last name Salama numbering in the millions.

Variations of the surname Salama

The surname Salama is of Hebrew origin, and has multiple variants and alternate spellings. Common variants include Salom, Salamon, and Salomons. Salama can also be spelled Shalom, Shalomme, Shalommeh, Sholome, Sholom, Sholomme, Solom, Solomme, Solome, and Solomn.

The surname is associated with the Hebrew word 'shalom', which means 'peace'. As a given name, Salama is especially popular in countries with a large Muslim population, as well as some Christian and Jewish cultures. It is also sometimes used as a variation of the Arabic female name, Salma.

Salama is a patronymic surname, which means it is derived from either the first name of the father or the grandfather of the original bearer. Alternate surnames derived from the same origin include Selman, Sholem, Salim, Salama, Salameh, Selma, Selmon, Salme, Salom, Slom, Solom, and Solomons.

In some cases, the spelling of Salama can be influenced by its pronunciation in the various languages spoken natively by the people that have adopted it. Salama can be pronounced as sal'-uh-muh, sol'-uh-muh, and sah'-luh-mah, and can be found under varying alternate spellings in different parts of the world.

Other surnames with similar origins include Salami, Shalu, Salaam, and Salamah. Although these surnames are not derived from the same root word as Salama, they are similar in sound and have been adopted by unrelated families.

Famous people with the name Salama

  • Talal Salama: Talal Salama is a Lebanese businessman who is the founder and chairman of the cybersecurity company Direct Global Solutions.
  • Omar Salama: Omar Salama won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2017 for his film The Insult, which earned him international acclaim and recognition.
  • Ayman Salama: Ayman Salama is an Egyptian footballer who has played for clubs in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
  • Omar Salama: Omar Salama is a Bahraini swimmer who won a bronze medal in the 50 metre butterfly at the 2010 Asian Games.
  • Emad Salama: Emad Salama is an Egyptian actor who has appeared in several films and television shows including Saladin and Alnuha.
  • Ali Salama: Ali Salama is an Iraqi musician and composer known for blending traditional Iraqi music with modern influences.
  • Maher Salama: Maher Salama is an Egyptian singer and songwriter who has released 5 albums to date.
  • Amal Salama: Amal Salama is an Emirati actress who has appeared in numerous films and television shows and is also a renowned theatre artist and fashion icon.
  • Hazem Salama: Hazem Salama is an Egyptian actor and director who is best known for his roles in several feature films, as well as his work as a screenwriter and producer.
  • Farah Salama: Farah Salama is an Egyptian singer and actress who has performed in numerous musicals and plays and has released a number of singles.

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